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When did the new water and sewer rates take effect?
The new water and sewer rates took effect on July 1, 2020. Due to the quarterly invoicing, increases were reflected in the September billing cycle.

Which rates are affected?
For all customers, the base and volume rates have been adjusted on an annual schedule.

Why are new rates and increases necessary?
An increase in the rates sustain the utility by providing the financial resources necessary to maintain the service levels our customers expect while continuing to comply with the environmental and safety regulations mandated by the state and federal governments.  Increasing user rates is the only means for generating revenue for the utility.  By law, the County water & sewer system is an enterprise fund; meaning it is fully funded by the system users and not supported by any other funding, including County or local taxes.  

How were the new rates determined?
An independent consultant company, Black and Veatch, developed the rates, which were approved by the County Council in March 2020.  The rates create a minimum level of financial reserves and provide funding for critical infrastructure in a manner that is fair and equitable to the nearly 50,000 customer accounts.  

Where does my money go?
The water and sewer fund is an enterprise fund within the County; meaning that it is meant to operate as a financially independent function within the County government.  All of the revenue collected is dedicated for the exclusive use of the utility in order to fund operating expenses such as power, chemicals, workers’ salaries, equipment, vehicles, and supplies and materials.

What is the County doing to keep water rates as low as possible?
Harford County takes a proactive approach to minimizing costs while meeting federal state and local requirements for potable water and sewage service. We monitor water output and consumption to minimize losses from leaks and inaccurate meter, using technologies to monitor and control various facilities throughout the County system to reduce staff and improve efficiency and effectiveness of processes to treat, pump and store water. Furthermore, we purchase chemicals, electrical power, and fuels in bulk and use cooperative purchasing (combining our purchase needs with other agencies to increase our buying power). We also lease space on some of our water towers to cellular phone companies to provide revenue that supports the operations of the utility.

I have a septic system; will the rate increase affect me?
Septic users could be affected if they are on the County water system. Currently, the County has approximately 1,530 customers on the County water system with a private septic system.

I live in the town of … will the rate change affect me?
If you are a direct customer of Harford County, meaning that you get a water and/or sewer bill from Harford County Government, the rate change will affect you. If you receive a water and sewer bill from a private water company, or from one of the publicly owned systems such as the City of Aberdeen, Town of Bel Air, or Havre de Grace, you should not be directly impacted by this rate chang
e.  For more information, please contact your municipality directly.

How can I tell what size meter I have at my home or office?
Almost all single-family residential customers have a 5/8” meter. Residences with fire sprinkler systems typically use a 3/4” meter. You may contact Water & Sewer Accounting at (410) 638-3311 or Email for more information concerning your meter size.

How can I reduce my bill?
The County encourages conservation.  For more information on water conservation.

I cannot pay my bill; who can help?
Please contact United Way at (410) 547-8000 or visit their website United Way.


William J. Bettin, P.E.
Deputy Director of Water & Sewer

Questions Regarding Billing & Accounts

Water & Sewer Accounting Office
Phone: (410) 638 - 3311
220 South Main Street
Bel Air, Maryland 21014

For all other Concerns

Office of Governmental & Community Relations
Phone: (410) 638 - 3420
220 South Main Street
Bel Air, Maryland 21014